Friday, May 28, 2010


"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:36-40 NIV

Pastor Joe Guglielmo said something about this passage that impacted me deeply. Remarking on verse 40 he said, “I love this verse, and here is why. If our vertical axis with God is right, if we love God supremely, then our horizontal axis with man will be in line also. Do you see the picture that emerges from this? It is a cross - all that God has said through the prophets and the law hangs on the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary!”

Because of the finished work of Christ, I am at peace with God and I am free to love and believe Him. God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. Romans 5:1-5 I don’t have to force myself to love Him or others. The presence of the Holy Spirit produces fruit and the first fruit listed in Galatians 5:22 is love. He gives us what we need for a life that is pleasing to Him. He doesn’t make demands and then dispassionately stands back and watches our struggle to obey. Peter tells us in his 2nd letter that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Then he encourages us in light of all God has done to apply diligence in our walk of faith. This is where the rubber meets the road, where we work out what He has worked in. How do we do that?

Matt Chandler, the pastor of the Village Church in Texas gives some good advice. “Ask yourself what inspires you? What stirs your affections for Christ? Make a list:
(this is a shortened version of Matt’s)

1. Early mornings and hot coffee
2. The writings of John Owen
3. Listening to my wife sing
4. The book of Hebrews
5. Sermons by John Piper
6. Angst-filled music
"I also wrestled with and paid attention to what robbed me of affection for Christ. What, when I was doing it or spending time around it created in me an unhealthy love for this world? The first list was a strange one because the majority of things that robbed me of zeal for Christ and His mission were morally neutral things. " It looked something like this:

1. Watching too much TV and spending too much time online
2. Staying up late for no reason
3. Following sports too closely
4. Being physically lazy
5. Empty conversations (talking for hours about nothing)
6. Idleness

Matt’s insights have been a tremendous practical help to me. I hope they will be to you as well. Let’s pay attention to those things that cause our hearts to burn with a holy fire and those things that threaten to extinguish that flame. His Holy Spirit will enable and equip us.
MY PRAYER: Lord, help us to give you what you fully deserve…our mind’s attention and our hearts affection. Help us to focus on those things that move us closer to you. Help us to put aside those things that promise much but leave us empty. In Jesus’ name.

No comments: